Trails connect together! Hardly any other long-distance hiking trail applies for that as the Panoramaweg Südalpen. For decades, the impressive rugged mountain range of the Karawanken Mountains have divided countries politically, but today the Panoramaweg Südalpen combines three cultures into an unforgettable hiking experience.
Well then, seen from the north, the Karavanken mountains do indeed look like a gigantic natural border wall, which in the minds of people on both sides of the mountains have only been gradually demolished. A process triggered by Slovenia's independence and its accession to the European Union, which has now been practically completed with the establishment of the unique Alpe-Adria region. And - in addition to the famous Alpe-Adria-Trail - as a visible sign of the new bond, the Panoramaweg Südalpen shines as a bright star in the long-distance hiking sky. This boundless hiking dream now begins (after an extension) at the border to Italy, in Thörl-Maglern, and immediately climbs up the so symbolically important border triangle. Here, where Italy, Austria and Slovenia have found each other, you will henceforth look eastwards and follow carefully laid paths along the spectacular ridge of the Karawanken mountains. In doing so, you will avoid from time to time rock barriers on the carinthian side on the gentler southern side of the mountains in Slovenia and sometimes even spend the night there. Apropos overnight stays: The magic of the Panorama Trail also results from its variety of accommodation! You can spend the night in mountain huts with spectacular views, in enchanting but world-forgotten inns or in idyllic villages. In any case, however, you will be surrounded by breathtaking landscapes that represent an unspoilt counter-world to today's mass tourism and which have probably not by chance produced literary figures of world renown, from Maria Lavant to Peter Handke.
A landscape that, by the way, shows two fundamentally different faces: Once you have reached the idyllic Lavamünd on the Drau River beyond the Karawanken, the Panoramaweg Südalpen turns north in a loop and then climbs up to the gentle colossus of the Saualpe to live up to its name again. At the end of the trail you follow this fantastic ridge to the border of Styria, where after 20 stages you will find the worthy finish of this hiking tour at Zirbitzkogel. From its summit, the view back to the rocky mountain range of the Karawanken will guide you and remind you of the experiences of the last days or weeks. And it will strengthen you in the feeling how beautiful it is that trails connect.
On the Panoramaweg Südalpen you hike in mountain ranges with summits up to 2,300 m above sea level. In the Karawanken there are some high shady passages where the snow lasts for a long time. From the beginning of June, however, the entire trail is always free of snow.
In autumn we leave with the cows off the mountain pastures. Even if October would still be a good month for hiking along the Panoramaweg Südalpen, we finish at the end of September. Because without the nice huts you would have sleepless nights and a very important element of the Panoramaweg Südalpen - the hut life - would be missing.
So our season is from the beginning of June to the end of September.
Which month you should choose is a matter of taste. June often offers pleasant temperatures and a fantastic abundance of flowers. Due to the altitude of many stages - you are often in the high mountains - the Panoramaweg Südalpen is an excellent choice to escape the heat of high summer (July and August). Note, however, the danger of thunderstorms, which often occur earlier in the Karawanken than in other mountain groups due to their location on the southern slopes of the Alps. With clear air, pleasant temperatures and often less danger of thunderstorms, September is a classically good hiking month anyway.
From November to May, many stages of the Panoramaweg Südalpen are covered by snow, that makes a hike on the trail impossible.
Thetechnical difficulties of the here described route of the Panoramaweg Südalpen are moderate.
All the stages run on mountain paths with a red dot, so they are classified as moderately difficult mountain paths according to the classification of the Alpine Association (see https://www.alpenverein.de/bergsport/aktiv-sein/bergwandercard/schwierigkeitsgrade-von-bergwegen_aid_28820.html). By definition, red-categorized trails are "predominantly narrow, often steep and can include sections that are dangerous to fall. There may also be short secured passages (e.g. wire rope)".
Absolute sure-footedness on rooty and stony hiking trails in alpine terrain is an absolute must. Some easy wire rope passages also require a certain amount of head for heights.
Even if the terrain does not present too many technical difficulties, in an alpine region you will often walk above the tree line with altitudes up to 2,300 m. You should therefore have alpine hiking experience for the Panoramaweg Südalpen, have orientation skills to find your way and be able to deal with the dangers of sudden changes in weather in the mountains.
There are trails marked with a black dot ("trail with alpine dangers") on the official route of the Panoramaweg Südalpen on the stages from Baumgartnerhöhe to Berta Hut, from Berta Hut to Koča na Golici, and from Gasthof Deutscher Peter to Koschutahaus. All these sections are avoided by alternative routes, so that there are no difficult sections (marked with a black dot) on the route of the Panoramaweg Südalpen described here.
Conditionally the Panoramaweg Südalpen is demanding: individual stages show ascent performances of up to 1,250 meters in altitude and/or 22 km trail length. On one stage, a whole 1,700 metres of altitude difference have to be mastered in the descent - however, these can be considerably reduced by using a cable car (Petzen Bergbahn). In total, this means pure walking times of up to 7 hours per day. The walking times are calculated as always with us with the (however, quite fast) Outdooractive formula. Therefore, a corresponding conditional preparation is absolutely recommended.
For children, the Panoramaweg Südalpen is suitable from the age of 14 with very good physical condition.
Long-distance hiking trails and trekking routes are not suitable for people with limited mobility due to their requirements. In order to clarify individual cases (degree of disability), it is recommended to contact the Trail Info & Booking Center before booking.
Here you can find more information about the requirements.
For the Panoramaweg Südalpen, "normal" equipment is sufficient for alpine hikes on unpaved and partly stony paths in the southern limestone Alps. However, sturdy footwear with a good sole profile for unpaved paths is a "must" and the use of telescopic hiking poles is recommended to relieve the knees during the sometimes longer descents. In summer, good sun protection and sufficient water are very important ( not every stage provides refreshment stops). Sufficient warm clothing for possible sudden changes of weather is important even in midsummer. For all huts along the trail, bring a sleeping bag and a towel.
Click here for more equipment details.
For a closer look, check out the detailed information for each stage along the trail here. The times are average values and may vary depending on personal fitness, number and length of breaks, weather conditions, etc.show Stages
Feel free to load map material from Google maps.
Along the trail three different accommodation categories - regional evaluation - are offered:
Basic: Simply equipped - mountain hut, alpine farm, guesthouse or bed & breakfast
Classic: High standard - good middle-class guesthouse or hotel**/***
Comfort: Accommodation for high demands - Hotel****, some with wellness area
Some overnight stays, especially in the first but also in the last part of the Panorama Trail Southern Alps, are in alpine huts or refuges and therefore in the Basic category. The alpine huts and refuges in the Karawanken and on the Saualpe have - as is usual for refuges in the mountains - only a limited number of twin/double rooms and also offer dormitory. There are showers and toilets on the floor. For the environmental protection it is obligatory to use a sleeping bag - please bring a towel with you.
Children between the ages of 6 and 14 receive a 35% discount for two full-paying adults in their parents' room.
Bringing along your dog is mostly possible - please request. The extra costs for a dog range between € 5,00 and € 20,00 (without food; per night) and will be paid directly on site in the accommodation.
Two different types of catering are available to you in the partner establishments:
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet or served to your table
Half board: breakfast plus dinner (mostly 3-course menu in the hotel or by voucher in a nearby restaurant)
Please enter special wishes for the food (vegetarian, vegan, intolerances ...) in the field "Comments". The Flow Trail Info & Booking Center will try to fulfill your non-binding requests.
For the realization of your trouble-free Trail journey a comprehensive mobility service is offered:
Luggage service: Hiking with a light daypack; while your luggage (max. 20 kg) is taken from accommodation to accommodation. How?
It's very simple: In the morning you drop off your luggage at the reception and at the end of the hiking day it will be waiting for you in your next accommodation. We recommend that you purchase luggage protection insurance. Please note: To the accommodations Bertahütte, Klagenfurter Hütte, Koča na Golici (Kahlkogelhütte), Feldalmhütte and Gasthaus Rogar our Luggage service is not available.
Back transfer: As essential as convenient. Our mobility service (collective transport) takes you from the destination of your trail journey comfortably back to your starting point.
Shuttle Services: The shuttle services required for the trail journey are included in the overall mobility package.
Our Mobility partners reserve the right to transport your dog in the luggage compartment.
In addition, we can also book recommended shuttle services such as the train station shuttle. If extra shuttle services are required during the trail trip, e.g. in case of bad weather, illness, etc., we will be happy to organize them. These shuttle services are not included in the travel price.
During your Trail journey you can make use of the special service of the Trail Info & Booking Center, which will make your Trail journey an especially safe, well looked after and unforgettable experience:
Trail Hotline: Our team is at your service with advice and practical support for the duration of your Trail journey. Even outside our normal office hours, you can reach us daily from 8:00 to 20:00.
Guide: Our certified and authorized mountain guides are highly trained and have excellent knowledge of the area. They also have a great knowledge of the nature and culture of the Karawanken and Saualpe, making a hike with our guides a varied and safe trail journey. All costs incurred (guide and his expenses for accommodation, food costs and travel) for the mountain guide are included under "Guiding".
Comprehensive Travel Information: an expertly compiled folder (PDF, print@home) with detailed, in-depth information will be sent to you in time for you to prepare your Trail journey.
For the arrival of this trail trip you have three possibilities - not included in the price - at your disposal:
With your own car: Parking is available at the respective starting points of the trail journey. Detailed information is included in the booking documents. Most of the parking spaces are free of charge and not monitored! The return transport will bring you back to your car.
By train: The following train stations are at your disposal: the national train stations Villach and Klagenfurt as well as the train stations Kühnsdorf-Klopeiner See, St. Paul, Bleiburg, Althofen and Wolfsberg (by S-Bahn every hour from Klagenfurt train station)
By airplane: The following international airports can be recommended for arrival by plane - Klagenfurt, Ljubljana, Graz and Munich.
Arrival shuttle service - not included in the price: Takes you to the starting point of your trail journey and back to the ideal train station or airport at the end of the tour. The Trail Info & Booking Centre will be happy to organize this shuttle service.
This is where Trail travelers find an especially warm welcome: From the alpine hut or refuge to the hotel****: our partner establishments have been hand-picked, and actively contribute to the development of the Trail.show partners
Here you will find all relevant information about your travel destination such as currency, entry requirements, food & drink, health and vaccinations and literature tips.Show Travel Information
Trail Information & Booking center, Travel Agent
Trail Angels GmbH
9821 Obervellach 15
We arrange your tour operator
Trail Angels GmbH
Obervellach 15, 9821 Obervellach, Österreich
Eintragungs-NR. Veranstalterverz. des bmwfi: 2016/0005
Tel: +43 4782 93093